My Interview: Clarissa of TVOvermind.Com

My favorite writer this week is Clarissa (@clarissa373 on Twitter), managing editor for TVovermind.com and BIG Supernatural fan. Clarissa has written extensive and detailed articles about what should and/or might come next for all of our favorite Supernatural characters when season 8 begins in the fall (find those articles here) and she continues to work hard on a multitude of other projects. Despite her busy schedule, she was kind enough to take some time to answer a few questions for me about Supernatural and TV in general.

We’re all highly anticipating an 8th season of Supernatural. You’ve written your wish lists for all the main characters but what is the ONE THING you are most looking forward to seeing in S8?

The ONE THING I’m most looking forward to seeing is the Purgatory storyline, and everything that it entails. See what I did there? I made it more than ONE thing. The good thing about Supernatural is that it can occasionally revisit storylines without necessarily feeling repetitive. The Purgatory storyline give Dean an opportunity to revisit his Hell storyline which, in turn, gives him an opportunity to: (a) survive a terrible ordeal and, hopefully, find his purpose for fighting once again, and (b) gives Sam an opportunity to save his brother this time around, thereby repairing any remaining fractures in their relationship. The Purgatory storyline is an opportunity for both of the main characters to grow, even if it’s separately for a little while.

You have mentioned that you don’t think that Bobby should come back from the dead another time. Maybe I am seeing things but it looked a bit like his flask hadn’t totally burned. IF Bobby were to return, what would you like to see happen with him?

I really wish they had never killed Bobby in the first place, if only because they brought him back for what amounted to little discernible reason. I accept the fact that death is not necessarily a permanent state in Supernatural, but why kill him twice only to bring him back a third time in season 8 (assuming that happens)? It seems like emotional manipulation for the fans. That being said, if Bobby does come back, I want him to come back alive. If that means that God steps in and resurrects him – or the angels, like they did with Adam – then I’ll happily accept that as a permanent state. He gets reanimated and goes back to fighting with the boys. No more ghostliness, no popping up in Purgatory or Heaven, just straight-up living/breathing Bobby. And maybe he gets a night with Sheriff Mills, because God knows that man needs to get some after his recently hellish ordeal.

We both agree that Dean’s trip to Purgatory could be a great way for him to kind of snap back into his former, hot shit, less apathetic, hunter self. There are lots of monsters for him to fight. If ONE monster fight were to affect him more than any other, what monster would you choose?

I would like to see him fight a “monster” from his past … ideally, Azazel. But I have all sorts of rules in my head about what should/should not be in Purgatory, and I don’t think demons would be there. But keeping in line with monsters from Dean’s past, I would pick Gordon Walker. Some fans argue that the show hasn’t always had continuous characterizations of its main characters, but I’ve always felt that secondary characters have had great continuity. Gordon was one of those characters who was consistently a nuisance and/or evil from day 1. The villains in Supernatural usually fall into a few categories: you have the big bads of the season(s) who stick around for a while, you have the monsters- of-the-week who can often be compelling, you have people like Meg and Crowley who have been long-lasting, but are occasionally allies, so sometimes it’s hard to see them as true villains, and then you have people like Gordon, who was always a villain and stuck around for a while, even if he was pretending to be a good guy. Like we’ve both mentioned, Dean’s trip to Purgatory could be a kick-in-the-pants for him, and what better way to get back to his fighting spirit then facing a (literal) monster from his past? And, more particularly, a monster from his past when he *was* an ass-kicking hunter.

Supernatural has had an AMAZING Technicolor dream coat of guest stars. If you could have one of the recurring characters back for an episode, who would it be and in what capacity?

I want John Winchester to return. I think that, out of all the characters who have died on this show, he is one character that still has an unfinished story. We learned most of what we know about John through his sons and I’d like the boys to have an opportunity to see their father one last time. More importantly, I’d like John to have the opportunity to see the men that his boys have become. A lot of people give John grief for the type of father he was, but I think he did the best that he could under the most terrible of circumstances. The fact that, in the end, he was willing to endure an eternity of Hell to save his eldest son’s life tells me what kind of a father he was. I appreciate Bobby’s place as a surrogate father in the Winchester boys’ lives, but before the show ends, I’d like to see John just one more time.

The 2011-12 Television season provided a large number of amazing shows. Other than Supernatural, was there one you loved more than all of the others?

I love so many shows, including dramas like The Good Wife, which I feel consistently delivers each and every episode. And The Vampire Diaries have been firing on all cylinders this season. But if I had to pick two shows that I loved more than all of the others, I would have to say Revenge and Once Upon a Time, and I love them both for very different reasons. For me, Revenge was a return to the true primetime soap opera. Does it have ridiculous scenarios? Of course it does. But it realizes that and doesn’t take itself too seriously. I like that this soapy drama proved itself to be must-see-TV. With Once Upon a Time, I liked that it was so different from anything else on television. The show had some problems with pacing in its first season, but I liked the fact that it took chances and delivered the type of show that can be watched by both children and adults. Josh Dallas riding a horse didn’t exactly hurt the show either.

Is there currently a show in your watch list that you wish you could give up?

Gossip Girl. No one seems to like it anymore – least of all the cast themselves. But I started watching it on day 1, and I’ll be there at the end (just like I was with Passions….shut up).

Sounds like there are a lot of great pilots coming to us in the fall. Is there a pilot that you are more excited about, above all others? If so, what can you tell us about it?

I’m most excited by three pilots right now: Nashville, Arrow and The Following. Nashville feels like a grown-up version of Dallas, but without all of the soapiness. I didn’t think I would like it, because I don’t like country music, but I adored the pilot. Connie Britton, who I didn’t really know until now, is sublime as an aging country music star, and all of the other characters fit perfectly into the story. Sure, there’s going to be an element of soap opera, but it doesn’t feel cheap. Arrow is the complete opposite of Nashville….a true super hero story. I didn’t really watch Smallville, but it’s a different look and feel altogether. I love Stephen Amell in the title role (staring at his abs isn’t exactly a hardship, if you know what I mean) and the whole show is a combination of fun/complex fight scenes and a compelling- enough story. I think that with Arrow, The CW has the next Vampire Diaries on its hands….finally.

Finally, I don’t know how to describe the wonder that is The Following except to say that the pilot feels like a two hour movie in less than 60 minutes. And that’s not an insult at all. It doesn’t feel crammed or rushed, it just feels *big*. The performances are stellar, the production value is terrific, and the story will scare the hell out of you. If the American public doesn’t absolutely adore The Following I will throw my computer at my television and declare myself done with the entire television industry.

Summer TV is in full swing. Is there anything you are watching right now that you are totally in love with?

I always love watching Pretty Little Liars during the summer. The truth is, I actually prefer to take a break throughout most of the summer because I watch so much TV throughout the fall-winter season that I feel like I need a break. Between Comic-Con and watching new pilots, I keep myself busy. Although, I have to say that I’m liking Breaking Pointe a lot more than I thought I would. I find it fascinating to watch the sheer amount of work these dancers put in to become professionals. Also, while watching stuff like Cake Boss makes me feel hungry, watching Breaking Pointe is a huge deterrent for snacking at night.

Now it’s time for the hard questions!!

Favorite television character of all time:

Buffy Summers. This actually wasn’t that hard of a question (although the next one is nearly, nearly impossible). To me, there’s two ways of looking at Buffy: on the one hand, she’s a supernaturally- gifted fighter, on the other, she’s a human being. In fact, Buffy is probably one of the most human – and, therefore, flawed – character I’ve seen in a long time. If you take the series as a metaphor for life (which you very often could), then Buffy’s characterization reveals that she’s a person like the rest of us – strong, brave, needy, funny, loving, and occasionally stupid…in other words, she’s a normal person.

I don’t always agree with her choices (the whole Spike storyline comes to mind), but I respect the fact that Joss Whedon and Sarah Michelle Gellar made her as human as they could.

Dean Winchester comes in a close second. Like Buffy, he’s a tragic hero figure who is so painfully human it makes him compelling to watch. I find that characters in genre shows – the kind of characters who are put in fantastical situations that you think could never be real – are the kinds of characters that are more human than the regular humans.

Favorite Television moment of all time:

It’s impossible to choose a single moment. I love the final moments of the LOST pilot, which is still one of my favorite pilots ever (followed very closely by The Following). When Charlie asks where they are, as the culmination to all of the crazy occurrences in the pilot, it feels like a big moment. Little did we know what it would lead to. That island would spawn some incredible (and, yes, silly) moments throughout its six year run, but I keep going back to those final moments of the pilot and thinking “we’re in for a wild ride”. I love two moments in Buffy: the scene where Buffy fights Angelus and then sends him to Hell, because it’s such a great fight scene followed by utter despair, and the moment in the finale where Buffy is getting beaten down and then finally stands up against The First Evil. The line Buffy delivers (“I want you… to get out of my face”) is so utterly *Buffy* that it always resonates with me. With Supernatural, there are so many incredible, emotional moments, but if I had to pick just one, I would say the final fight scene in “Swan Song”, when Sam/Lucifer is beating on Dean, and he’s just sitting there and taking it, brokenly telling Sam that he’s not going to lose him. Then there’s that beautiful (silent) montage of the brothers’ relationship, and it breaks my heart every time.

The show you wish would have never ended:

I wish Supernatural had never ended. Oh, we got another season? Wicked. Next question. But seriously, as much as there are many shows I wish had never ended (I think Angel ended before its time, even if I wasn’t crazy about every storyline), I think there’s a natural ending to most shows and most of the shows I’ve watched have ended at a time that felt right.

If you could say one thing to all of the current TV watchers what would it be?

Please, PLEASE love The Following. Also, stop with the ‘shipper wars. Instead, concoct elaborate fantasies in your head whereby you are one-half of your favorite couple. Trust me; it will make you far happier than getting involved in ‘shipper wars.

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